Let’s check in with our friends in Minnesota, who you may remember from the episode from last season called “The Gang Bamboozles Kirk Cousins”:
More effective amoeba defense from the #Patriots on third down, defenders milling about at the line. Designed to muddy Cousins' reads and confuse Minnesota's O-line.— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) December 2, 2018
About that last part...the Vikings offensive line ended up as Pro Football Focus’s 29th-ranked unit last season, and the interior lineman trio somehow gave up 18 sacks by themselves, so add some Belichick/Flores confusion to that, and we got ourselves a party.
Meanwhile, for a 4-0 Patriots football team that’s spending their Sundays seeing how many records they can play wall ball with, there sure seems to be a lot to be freaking out about. And one of those things is despite signing approximately 87 wide receivers this past offseason (I said ‘approximately’!), receiver depth is still kind of sketchy depending on who’s banged up and who’s...less banged up at the moment.
Plus, you know, there was that whole “let’s roll the dice on a 6-time All-Pro who at minimum has been acting extremely strange as of late and hope it doesn’t horribly backfire”, so, yeah. That happened.
So when Stefon Diggs starts missing practices, and it’s not cause he’s injured, then, well, you can see where this is going already, right?
The #Vikings listed WR Stefon Diggs as having missed practice today for non-injury reasons. No other explanation yet available.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 2, 2019
Stefon Diggs' absence today at Vikings practice was "not injury related," the team reported. Diggs hasn't spoken with the media in two weeks and was visibly frustrated on the sideline in Sunday's loss to the Bears.— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) October 2, 2019
Turns out, though, the Vikes are extremely not interested in trading a dude who is A) extremely good at catching footballs, and B) the proud owner of a 5-year, $72,000,000.00 extension to stay in Minnesota as of last summer. NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran reported on Wednesday night that there’s nothing brewing with trading Diggs, cause it’s not happening.
Take it away, Tom:
Well, the Vikings like Diggs.
And a league source with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday the Vikings have no plans to trade Diggs. Which makes more than surface sense. Even with Diggs moderately down in 2019 (he has 13 catches for 209 yards so far), the Vikings are a very viable playoff team in the NFC.
Possibly only funny to me: saying a team is “a very viable playoff team” after 4 weeks. “Come on guys, they might even make the playoffs!”. Can’t relate.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson also chimed in on Wednesday night saying basically the same thing: can’t hurt to ask, but the answer is nah.
Meanwhile, as our resident salary cap enthusiast Brian Phillips pointed out the other day, even if this possible trade were a thing - which, and we can’t stress this enough, it is not - getting Diggs’ contract to fit with the Pats’ current cap situation would’ve taken some heavy duty MacGyver-ing to even get close to working. This would be one way to accomplish said MacGyver-ing, and even then it’s a stretch, cause unlike Madden, real football teams can’t just roll through the football season with $20 in cap space:
I believe the lowest possible cap hit for Stefon Diggs, after acquiring him via trade and doing a maximum salary-to-signing bonus conversion, would be $2,007,985. https://t.co/lGtKmRKMuc— Brian Phillips (@BPhillips_SB) October 1, 2019
And then on Thursday, it was the same thing, only different. Diggs is apparently a philosophizer, and the Vikings still would prefer to retain one of their best young players.
On #Vikings WR Stefon Diggs: His frustration with the organization has been palpable. He was not at practice yesterday for non-injury reasons. Teammates are left wondering if he wants to be there. The team is adamant he is not available for a trade, barring some massive deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2019
So there we have it. No Stefon Diggs trade. Unless someone sends over a trade so lopsided that it’d get vetoed in your fantasy league. So still, almost certainly, no.
Ben Watson is back this week, though!